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Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday 27 April 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Updates for the North East have now finished for today. 

We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 tomorrow. We hope you can join us then.

If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet us, email, or contact us through our Facebook page.  

Weather: Cold

BBC Weather

Wintry showers across the region should slowly die out this evening, with most parts dry by midnight.

Clear spells will lead to a widespread frost by morning, with a few icy patches possible.  

Check the weather where you are.

Cadavar dogs now part of Durham Police team

Two dogs specially trained to detect corpses have been brought in to the Durham Police team.

Known as cadaver dogs, Micky and Brody have joined the specialist canine function.

Micky the Labrador
Durham Police

Trainer Dave Charlton said: “There were a couple of incidents in the force area during which we had to buy in the service of search dogs from a neighbouring force.

"By training our two new recruits in this speciality, we know our dogs can save vital time during searches."

He says he came across some "interesting challenges" during training, such as having to wash the dog before it enters a scene to reduce the chance of cross contamination.

Wheelchair user Steve Wilkinson takes 16 hours visiting all 60 Metro stations

A wheelchair user spent 16 hours getting on and off at all 60 of the Tyne and Wear Metro stations to raise cash for charity.

Wheelchair Steve
Steve Wilkinson

Steve Wilkinson, who calls himself Wheelchair Steve, braved hail and snow to complete the challenge and raise £3,000 for 11 different charities.

The Metro60 challenge set off from Newcastle Airport at 06:00 on Tuesday ending at St James' Station at 22:00.

Mr Wilkinson said fish and chips at South Shields helped him through.

Air ambulance at A19 crash site

The air ambulance is at the scene of a crash on the A19 which has shut the road northbound, Highways England says.

View more on twitter

BreakingTravel: A19 closed after accident

BBC Travel

The A19's closed and there's stationary traffic northbound between the A1018 junction in Seaham and the Herrington Interchange in Sunderland because of a multi-vehicle accident.

Congestion is back to the A182 junction. 

Keep up to date with the latest travel for Tyne & Wear and Tees.

Girl grabbed while walking to school

A girl was approached by a man in a black 4x4 in South Tyneside who tried to pull her into the car, police say. 

It happened in Salem Street, at the junction of Stapple Road, while she was walking to school.

The man asked if she would like a lift, she declined and the car drove off before stopping at the next junction at Randolph Street.

The man then opened the car door and grabbed at the girl's wrist, but she managed to push him away and ran home.

The girl was not injured but was left shaken by the incident. 

The man is described as having a black tattoo on his neck with the words LOVEL written in small letters.

Cabral rape trial: Woman was 'in bed with two other players' days before court date

Video footage has been played to a jury showing a woman who claims she was raped by a professional footballer in bed with two other players days before she gave evidence in court.

The 22-year-old complainant has told a jury at Hull Crown Court how former Sunderland player Cabral, whose real name is Adilson Tavares Varela, pinned her down on his bed and raped her. 

As the woman was cross-examined, Kitty Taylor, defending, played the jury mobile phone footage which the barrister said showed her in bed with two other footballers on Saturday night along with another woman.

Miss Taylor said to the woman: "What on earth were you thinking? Preparing for this event by going out on Saturday night and ending up in bed with two professional footballers in the early hours of the morning?" 

She replied: "I didn't class them as footballers. I was in bed with my best friend." 

Man 'indecently exposes bottom' to girl then walks off

Police say a man "indecently exposed himself" to a 16-year-old girl and then walked off on Monday.

He's described as being 20-30 years old and of heavy build, wearing a grey tracksuit and a black scarf covering his face.

Then, yesterday, a man approached a girl and "exposed his bottom" to her before walking away.

He was wearing grey joggers with a black and white scarf covering his face and a florescent jacket.

Police believe the incidents may be linked. 

Durham Cricket: Match abandoned

After 14 deliveries across days three and four, the good people of Chester-le-Street have been put out of their misery.

Durham and Middlesex will share the spoils.

View more on twitter

Cannabis farms uncovered in Lemington

Two cannabis farms have been uncovered in Lemington in Newcastle.

Last Wednesday, officers carried out search warrants at two addresses in Dene Gardens and Dene Avenue.

Cannabis farm
Northumbria Police

Police say around 60 plants were seized as well as lighting and heating equipment.

A 42-year-old man has been summonsed to court for producing a controlled drug.

Shane Tunney murder trial: Teenager denies role in fatal attack

One of seven teenagers accused of murdering a Teesside man has told a court he was there, but played no part in the attack.

Shane Tunney
Cleveland Police

Shane Tunney, 24, from Stockton, suffered severe head injuries during the assault on Norton High Street on 27 June last year and later died.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named, was spotted on CCTV with the six other defendants running after Mr Tunney.

But he told Teesside Crown Court he took no part in the fatal assault.

Dramatic storm clouds over Whitley Bay

Check out these dramatic-looking storm clouds as a cargo ship sails across the North Sea off the coast of Whitley Bay.

Storm clouds at Whitley Bay
Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Thanks to Press Association photographer Owen Humphreys for this shot.

If you have a picture you'd like us to see you can tweet us, email, or contact us through our Facebook page.    

Teenage boy charged after attempted robbery in Heaton

A teenage boy has been charged after an attempted robbery in Heaton.

A boy entered the Heaton Village store in Heaton Road last Tuesday and threatened a staff member with a bottle.

Police say the worker defended themselves and the boy left the store empty-handed.

A 16-year-old from Gosforth has been charged with attempted robbery and assaulting a police officer.

Spaniel falls down 60ft sinkhole while chasing bird

A spaniel who fell down a sinkhole in Whitburn has been rescued and reunited with its owner.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue service say the dog was "chasing a bird" when he fell down the 60ft deep hole.

A crew member was lowered down on a rope and brought him safely back to the surface where he was reunited with his owner. 

Sunderland swimmer achieves Rio Paralympic qualifying standard

Elizabeth Hudson

BBC Sport

Three more swimmers have achieved the Rio Paralympic qualifying standard on the final morning of the British Para-swimming trials in Glasgow.

One of those who managed to dip under the S9 50m freestyle standard was Matt Wylie from Sunderland.

Listen: Sunderland striker on being Young Player of the Year

Duncan Watmore
BBC

Sunderland Striker Duncan Watmore says "it's a great feeling because it's from the fans" after winning a Supporters' Association Award.

He spoke to BBC Newcastle about being their Young Player of the Year.

Fire at Gateshead Stadium melts artificial turf and destroys hurdles

A fire at Gateshead Stadium which broke out last night has melted a large portion of their artificial turf.

Gateshead stadium fire
Twitter

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue service say they got called out at 19:00 for what was initially reported as a wheelie bin fire.

When the crew arrived they realised four crash mats had been set alight and there were 12 hurdles on fire.

The fire had spread to "40m by 20m of the AstroTurf".

Cleveland Police in Ohio confusion... again

Cleveland Police have had to remind social media users it is a UK force after receiving tweets about the death of Tamir Rice, who was shot by police in Cleveland Ohio.

Twitter comments
BBC

They've had to issue this reminder before after receiving similar messages when Tamir was shot in November.

They're now responding to further comments after a Huffington Post article said the Police Union Chief had told his family what they should do with a portion of the $6m settlement they're set to receive. 

There's also a video response to this news from The Young Turks which has sparked comment. 

One corrected Twitter user replied to the Teesside force, saying "My apologies, are you guys behaving?"

Lost WW2 bomber crews remembered in German service

Services are being held at a German war cemetery to remember 10 previously unknown RAF airmen, whose remains were recently identified.

Halifax bomber
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Among those remembered are Sgt Thomas Ernest Edwards from Durham and Flt Sgt Norman Thompson Steele who was born in Ashington, Northumberland.

New headstones were carved to replace those which previously had no names.  

Not looking good for a prompt start at Durham Cricket Ground

Martin Emmerson

BBC Newcastle

Pitch still wet ahead of the match between Durham and Middlesex at Chester-Le-Street.

Snow, rain and sleet meant there was no play yesterday.  

Cricket pitch
BBC

A brisk day on Tynemouth Beach

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Yesterday, we saw a mix of weather conditions. It snowed, rained and hailed, with a very brief spell of sunshine followed by more rain and hail.

Tynemouth beach
BBC

It's officially spring, but temperatures are barely creeping above freezing.

Here in the North East there seems to be a sturdy (or mad) bunch of people who've braved the elements and headed to Tynemouth beach regardless.

I caught up with them yesterday.

Former Sunderland player Cabral denies rape charge

Former Sunderland footballer Cabral has denied raping a woman he met in a Tyneside nightclub.

Cabral
SAFC

The midfielder, real name Adilson Tavares Varela, is accused of raping the 21-year-old at his flat in Gateshead in January 2015.

Hull Crown Court heard the woman, who cannot be named, tried to call for help as she was pinned down on his bed.

The 27-year-old, who is now signed to Swiss club FC Zurich, denies two counts of rape.

Four arrests after stolen car recovered in Bishop Auckland

It's "another day in paradise in Bishop Auckland" according to Durham's Road Policing Unit...

View more on twitter

Football: Norwich and Sunderland fined by FA

BBC Sport

In case you missed it yesterday: Norwich City and Sunderland have each been fined £30,000 by the Football Association for failing to control their players during the Premier League match between the sides on 16 April.

Players and coaching staff from both teams clashed on the touchline early in the game at Carrow Road.

Norwich contested the charge, while Sunderland accepted it, but it was found proven against both teams.

Sunderland won the game 3-0 to boost their top-flight survival hopes.

Tempers flare between Sunderland and Norwich players
PA

Your pictures: The sea at Tynemouth

Thanks to Dave Jackson for this shot taken in Tynemouth this morning.

Tynemouth beach
Dave Jackson

If you have any pictures you'd like us to see, you can tweet us, email, or contact us through our Facebook page.

'No foul play' in author disappearance

Officers searching for a missing children's author have said there is nothing to indicate 'foul play' in connection with her disappearance.

Northumberland-born Helen Bailey, who wrote the Electra Brown series for teenagers, was last seen walking her dog near her home in Royston, Hertfordshire, on 11 April.

The 51-year-old said she "needed a little time to herself" before going missing.

Officers are continuing to view hours of CCTV footage from the local area.

Helen Bailey
Hertfordshire Police

Weather: Cold and breezy with showers

BBC Weather

Starting cold and breezy, with coastal showers.

While sunny spells are likely, showers will become heavier, more widespread, and slower-moving as winds ease.

These showers will potentially deliver temporary hail, sleet and snow to low levels, with some also thundery.  

Check the weather where you are.

Liam Fee murder trial: Accused told boy she had 'killed his dad'

A young boy has said one of the accused in the Liam Fee murder trial told him she had 'killed his dad' with a type of saw.

Liam Fee
BBC

The youngster made the statement during a recorded police interview after the two-year-old was found dead at a house near Glenrothes on 22 March 2014.

Rachel Fee, 31, and Nyomi Fee, 28, who are originally from Ryton, Gateshead, deny murdering Liam and harming two other boys.

The boy also said he felt "unsafe" with the two accused.

Good morning. Welcome to our live coverage

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

We'll be bringing you news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East until 18:00.

If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet us, email, or contact us through our Facebook page.